Along with our new Workspace Series on Mashable, we wanted to highlight a customer who runs his business from both his laundromat and a home office. Ken Barrett, owner of Washin’ Anniston Coin Laundry in Anniston, Alabama, shares with us how he successfully incorporates technology into his business model.
We spoke with Ken to learn more about how he stays connected while dividing his time between multiple locations. Here’s what he had to say.
Tell us about your business.
Washin’ Anniston is a self-service laundromat serving the residents of Anniston, Alabama. We provide 22 washers and 22 dryers, along with free Wi-Fi and a children’s play area for our customers.
How do you use RingCentral in your business?
I use RingCentral in a number of ways. I previously owned a home energy evaluation company and had my phone number on my business cards and advertising. Now, I have an 800 number posted in the laundromat – customers are invited to call if any emergencies arise. RingCentral’s fax feature has been very beneficial, as well.
Are there any challenges affecting your business?
Finding the right advertising is a big challenge. I have used direct marketing, radio, TV, newspaper, free drawings, Facebook and websites, but a lot still comes down to word of mouth. Every visit has the potential of being a good or bad advertisement.
Tell us more about how your use of technology gives you a competitive edge.
I spend a lot of time driving to look for new locations, reviewing places for sale and attending supplier open houses. Using RingCentral allows me to be in touch, should any concerns arise.
What technologies enable you to work from multiple locations?
I use the Wi-Fi at Washin’ Anniston, and I always have my laptop nearby. Most things I can handle with my smartphone.
Do you have an office space, as well?
I have a very small home office but spend a lot of time on the road.
Do you have any stories to tell/advice to give other small business owners?
The ability to have a single 800 number – which can be listed on business cards or posted in the store – for calls and faxes is great. Being able to use a single phone for all of my contacts and keep my cell number private is also a real advantage.
Originally published Sep 18, 2010, updated Sep 20, 2021